Friday, October 20, 2006

A Weekend with the Dogs at the Beach

Rose Hips

A three day weekend! We drove to the Oregon Coast and rented a Cabin at the Shamrock Lodgettes, a dog friendly spot in Yachts. We stopped into Newport on the way to the cabin and bought some fish for dinner at Local Ocean Seafoods. The cabin has a very tiny kitchen, a living room with a fireplace, bath, and a bedroom; nice and cozy. The ocean view isn't the best, but the grounds of the Shamrock are quite nice, big lawns, shrub beds, and large trees. There is enough space to make it feel private. We arrived after dark, but that didn't deter Berry and Basil from exploring the place from top to bottom.

Juniper, the garden dog at Bramble and Rose made us feel welcome.

We woke up our first morning at the beach to dry weather, very lucky! I arranged a tour of Bramble & Rose Nursery for the morning. The nurseries was built on land that was clear cut in 1996, now it is a lush garden teaming with wildlife. This is not a formal rose garden, these roses are allowed to grow to their full size, climbing up into trees and over fences. The brambles are shelter to many critters, we saw chipmunks, birds, and Chickens. Donald Niskanen, one of the owners of the family run nursery, told us that they have been visited by black bears, bob cats, coyotes, and of course deer. The deer are kept out of parts of the garden by tall fences, but they help to prune the rose bushes growing along the driveway. Mid-October is not the usual time to tour a rose garden, there wasn't much in bloom, but there were lovely rose hips on many of the bushes.

Darlingtonia californica
Cobra Lily

Later that day we went to the Darlingtonia State Natural Site, an 18 acre botanical Park devoted to the Cobra Lily, Darlingtonia californica. The Cobra Lily is native to northern California to southern Oregon; the plants need boggy soil, ideally in a sunny site where the water flows and stays cool. The Cobra Lily gets it's nutrients from trapping bugs that fall into water held in its stem; bacteria in the water breaks down the bugs into nitrogen usable by the plant. There is a boardwalk to a bog filled with the Cobra Lilies. The boardwalk is edged with some beautiful native plants, including deer fern, evergreen huckleberry, and myrtle. On the way out we saw some gorgeous mushrooms...Anything that pretty must be poisonous!

The next morning we awoke to rain, our exploring was done, so we headed home. I want more three day weekends!

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